Today, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced a suite of bills aimed at improving our agricultural system and limiting exposure to pesticides. The bills included the Earthjustice-endorsed Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (PACTPA), Farm Systems Reform Act, and Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act. PACTPA would ban harmful organophosphates that have a well-documented history of poisoning farmworkers and causing irreversible harm to the cognitive abilities of exposed children. It also builds upon a provision of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act to require printed Spanish translations of pesticide labels.
“Every consumer should be able to purchase food with the confidence that it does not contain harmful pesticides, and the farmworkers harvesting our food deserve working conditions free from dangerous neurotoxins,” said Martin Hayden, Earthjustice Vice President of Policy and Legislation. “PACTPA is even more important now than it was when it was first introduced in 2020 as countless farmworkers have faced continual exposure to pesticides since then. This bill would ensure that these harmful substances have no place in our homes, workplaces, and communities.”
The Farm Systems Reform Act and Industrial Agriculture Accountability Act would help rein in some of the most egregious practices of large factory farms and large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
“Harmful CAFOs dominate our country’s food and farming systems, emit toxic pollution into our air and water, and perpetuate numerous unsafe and unfair working conditions that make our food supply less safe,” continued Hayden. “These bills rightfully highlight these deep-seated problems and bring much needed accountability to Big Ag. They take the bold and necessary steps we need to bring dangerous factory farms under control and ensure safer working conditions for agriculture workers and a more equitable food supply for all.”
“Pesticide exposure and our current agricultural practices are environmental justice issues, and we thank Senator Booker for understanding how interconnected the practices of the agriculture industry are with our environment,” said Hayden. “We urge the Senate to hold the industry accountable and ensure consumer and worker safety at all levels of our food supply chain.”